Enbridge Gas rebate helps fuel upgrades at affordable housing complexes

From left: Chatham-Kent's Director of Drainage, Waste and Asset Management Tim Dick, CK's Manager of Housing Assets, South Alain Sasseville, CK Mayor Darrin Canniff, Energy Efficiency Solutions at Enbridge Gas Mark Glasier, and Advisor for Energy Solutions at Enbridge Gas Bryana Smith. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

An investment into some new energy-efficient equipment at two affordable housing units in Chatham-Kent is already paying off.

Municipal officials received a cheque for a little over $103,000 from Enbridge Gas on Thursday as part of a rebate program the company is offering for upgrades that reduce gas consumption at Affordable Housing Multi-Residential buildings.

In this case, that meant upgrading air quality units at two of the municipality’s local affordable housing complexes.

Alain Sasseville, Chatham-Kent’s manager of housing assets (South) said they will really start to see the savings as time goes on.

“We went for the maximum benefits,” said Sasseville. “In the end, the payback [in terms of savings to energy costs]… if you want to calculate it over 20 years… they’re free.”

Sasseville said the complexes that received the upgrades are at 99 McNaughton Avenue West in Chatham and 287 Talbot Street West in Blenheim.

Specifically, the complex at McNaughton Ave. West had two new makeup air units (MAU) installed to replace eight existing units. Another two units were installed at the complex in Blenheim to replace four MAUs that needed to be taken out of service. Sasseville said their budgets are usually so tied up with maintenance costs that they don’t have money available for upgrades.

“Once the rebates are available, that makes it more attractive to pull the trigger and to get something done,” said Sasseville. “Probably without the rebate… one of the buildings wouldn’t have been done.”

Sasseville said the municipality is planning to make some more upgrades to its affordable housing units in the future as long as the rebate program is still available.